Leaves of trees remove atmospheric oxidized VOC by uptaking it through stomota and metabolizing it through enzymatic conversion.

"[D]eciduous tree leaves, such as those from the maple, aspen, and poplar, suck up far more atmospheric pollutants than previously thought. The study concerns the most abundant class of carbon-based particles in the atmosphere, so-called volatile organic compounds (VOCs)... [A] major source [of VOCs] comes from automobile exhaust, coal burning, and other human activities. Some atmospheric VOCs combine with oxygen to form tiny airborne particles called oxygenated VOCs (oVOCs), which insulate the atmosphere and lead to warming...[Scientists] decided to re-examine how deciduous plants interacted with oVOCs...Plants exposed to oVOCs increased their normal uptake of the compounds, absorbing 40% more than expected." (Berkowitz 2010:1)


"In this report, we combine field observations with laboratory experiments and transport modeling in order to investigate the influence of vegetation on the deposition of oxygenated VOCs [volatile organic compounds]. oVOCs represent the most abundant class of organic carbon and profoundly affect the chemical composition in Earth’s oxidizing atmosphere." (Karl 2010:817)

"The presented laboratory and field observations show that oVOCs can be efficiently metabolized by plants through constitutive and induced detoxification mechanisms. Because the general route of atmospheric photooxidation of NMVOCs goes through the formation of carbonyls and hydroxycarbonyls, these findings have consequences for understanding the atmospheric evolution of these oVOCs." (Karl 2010:818)

Journal article
Efficient Atmospheric Cleansing of Oxidized Organic Trace Gases by VegetationKarl T; Harley P; Emmons L; Thornton B; Guenther A; Basu C; Turnipseed A; Jardine K

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Tree Leaves Fight PollutionBerkowitz R

Living System/s